|shoot out, 12x12x4 inches|
this is one of two pieces i will be submitting to the all colorado show. i know i have posted this piece before, but i'm kind of in a strange place as far as work goes. i have 3 new boxes that have never been seen in any venue, but am saving them for a show in october. i have also been working on prints, but am saving them for october as well. i made this box a few months ago, and thought it might be a good fit for submission. john was nice enough to make the actual box. he uses plywood, and then runs it through a dovetail jig to make the joints. these boxes are very strong because of the dovetail joints. i think they could probably survive just about anything. anyway, on this particular box, i used old yard sticks for the trim on the front, and also to line the inside. you can see the usual suspects in my choice of materials...old stuff, objects with numbers, metal things, boxes, toys, and old handwriting. i'm not sure why i am drawn to those particular themes, but they show up over and over in my work. i also like circles, and the outside of this piece is covered in them! they also show up in the old ring toss target.
i read lots of artist statements, and everyone seems so smart, so deep, and so introspective when they write them. writing the artist statement is really tough for me. making art to me is explained simply. i'm not trying to make a huge statement. i like things with age and patina. i like color. i like to put elements together like a puzzle to make things that are beautiful. i choose stuff because it calls to me, not because it is saying anything that is particularly significant in the world. i also like a bit of humor, but not too cutesy. hence, the headless cowboys, taking aim at one another, obviously beyond the point of no return. i call the box "shoot out", but the name is really for identification, not to inspire deeper meaning.
i don't mean to suggest that my work is uncomplicated. i spend hours and hours getting just the right combination of elements. assemblage, i think, is highly misunderstood. many think you just stick stuff together, but it's a lot more difficult than that. the magic word is puzzle. it's a puzzle with no picture on the box top to help you get the pieces in the right order. that's up to the artist to figure out.